International Booker Prize Shortlist 2023

The shortlist of six books for the International Booker Prize has been announced.

Six shortlisted titles

The titles are:

Boulder by Eva Baltasar, translated by Julia Sanches
Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan, translated by Chi-Young Kim
The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé, translated by Richard Philcox
Standing Heavy by GauZ’, translated by Frank Wynne
Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Angela Rodel
Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated by Rosalind Harvey

The books on this year’s shortlist originated from Bulgaria, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Mexico, South Korea and Spain.

Collectively this group of novels acts as a reflection of the societies they each inhabit, in particular the place and role of women, the effect and deconstruction of colonial legacies and the absurdities if nationalism.

Motherhood as a theme is explored, outside the nuclear family, within modern lives, changing attitudes and age-old challenges. Still Born and Boulder explore women coming to terms with biology and the body, while tending with the severe emotional consequence of their decisions.

You can read book blurbs of the six titles shortlisted in my earlier post here.

I’m planning to read Still Born and being a fan of Maryse Condé, who has said this will be her last novel, I’ll eventually read her novel too. Incredibly, having lost her sight, she has narrated this novel orally through her husband and translator Richard Philcox. It seems somehow apt, given her own research into the life of her grandmother, whom she never knew, also told to her orally and written about in her novel Victoire, My Mother’s Mother.

Are you planning to read any of these titles? Any predictions to win?

10 thoughts on “International Booker Prize Shortlist 2023

  1. I am reading The Gospel According to the New World and really enjoying it. I didn’t think I would after reading a few critical reviews but it’s great. I have Boulder on order and Time Shelter and Whale on hold at the library. I love this short list!


    • I’m reading Still Born and find it very compelling. I admire how what feels like a realistic and highly emotional situation is told through a third person, which keeps the story in neutral language.

      In my reading experience of her work, (I’ve read 8 of her books) Condé rarely writes in the same way as her previous works. She demands the reader come with an open mind, so some delight while others are hard work. Her breadth and depth are astounding. I’m curious about this final novel, though I was less enamoured with her last as I have been by her older work.

      I’ve not looked into Standing Heavy.


  2. Pingback: Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel tr. Ellen Jones – Word by Word

  3. Pingback: International Booker Prize Winner 2023 – Word by Word

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